PM does not like what Guatemala is proposing

This morning in Belmopan, the House of Representatives met in Belmopan for day one of the two day budget debate. But before the budget was addressed, a consequential topic of discussion raised was the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington presentation on Guatemala’s new proposals and terms for the upcoming October 6th referendum process. The Minister returned from Washington DC only yesterday and when asked about the matter he provided no details and only said that he would recommend to cabinet that Belize still carries through with the Referendum. Well at today’s meeting of the Dean-Barrowhouse, Prime Minister Dean Barrow addressed the matter, saying that he does not like what Guatemala is proposing.  Guatemala is proposing that Belize amends the Referendum Act which specifies that 60% of the voting population has to participate in the referendum. Guatemala wants Belize to allow a simple majority decision. If that amendment  is made then Guatemala says it is willing to go ahead with the joint referendum but at an unspecified date. Guatemala’s 2nd proposal is that Belize go ahead with the October 6th referendum on its own; meaning that Guatemala would not have a simultaneous referendum. The proposal is that if Belize’s referendum results in ‘yes’ to the  ICJ, Guatemala would then  hold its own referendum by the end of June 2014. In the House meeting today, the Prime Minister said that while he does not like Guatemala’s proposal, that proposal will be discussed and analyzed by Cabinet. He also said that he hopes that after analysis, he and the leader of the Opposition, Hon Francis Fonseca, could present a  unified national position. Whatever those positions are, they are expected to be released after next week Tuesday’s cabinet meeting.

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